Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Now, this is more of a New Year's dish!  Low in fat, low in calories, high in protein and still quick, easy and elegant!  This is adapted from Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)'s recipe.  This has become our "go to" for something light after a day of overeating (i.e. the day after Thanksgiving and New Year's Day night after we had totally overdone it on football snack food--watching all the Bowl games on New Year's Day is a very big deal with my husband's family).  It took me awhile to develop an appreciation for shrimp cocktail, but now I absolutely love it!  Although those assembled trays you can buy from the grocery store are pretty good, I think if I'm going to spend the money on shrimp, I want it to be great and a few extra minutes roasting them yourself achieves that!

They are great right out of the oven but also excellent leftover and cold right from the fridge.  How versatile! 

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail 
2 pounds peeled, de-veined raw shrimp, tails still on (we use 31-40 count size, defrosted from frozen are fine )*
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
your favorite prepared cocktail sauce
fresh lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spread out shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle evenly with salt.  Roast at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or just until pink and firm and cooked through (The beautiful thing about shrimp is that they're pretty easy to tell when they're done.  They change color!).  Allow to cool and serve with cocktail sauce and fresh lemon juice, as desired.

*Note: In the United States at least, shrimp are sold by "count."  This meaning the number of shrimp that make up a pound.  The higher the count, the smaller the size of shrimp (and less expensive).  31-40 count shrimp are considered "large size."  You can feel free to substitute a different size of shrimp according to your preference and access, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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